Whoever first floated the idea of Pokemon meets pinball was a very smart person. Don’t get me wrong: Regular pinball’s great and all. But the original Pokemon Pinball and the Ruby and Sapphire version took it to another level. In keeping with the version gimmick, you had two table styles to choose from with different layouts and, more importantly, different Pokemon to catch.
Instead of space-age bumpers and plain ol’ pins, you had Shroomish or Voltorb to rack up points with, Pikachu to catch the ball — if you were lucky — and Diglett or Psyduck to shake things up and knock the ball around.
These were way more than just a Pokemon skin stretched over a pinball table, though. Shooting the ball to the right spot or spinning one of the flippers enough activated several different modes, all built around catching Pokemon (quelle surprise, I know).
What ‘mon were available depended on the location you started out in. The original would put you in or near cities from Red and Blue, though the R&S version did away with cities for more generic locations only, like caves and such.
It was, and still is, an incredibly addictive feature for a pinball game, even if the bumpers did seem to bear some kind of ancient grudge against players and almost always shot the ball somewhere other than where the Pokemon was.
That's it for our best Pokemon spinoffs. Has another Pokemon spinoff captured your heart that we didn't cover? Let us know over on Twitter, and be sure to hit that share button to spread the Pokemon love.